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Grand Haven 4th-graders visit ArtWalk

Krystle Wagner • Sep 29, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Energetic and excited fourth-graders surrounded the stage at Grand Haven’s Central Park to conclude their field trip to ArtWalk on Wednesday.

After visiting all of the art on display, the Grand Haven Area Public School students participated in an interactive concert with singer and songwriter Susan Picking. Together, the group sang Picking’s song, “No Bully,” which is also her ArtPrize entry.

Picking, who attended Mary A. White Elementary School, now lives in Beloit, Wis., and tours the country performing and sharing a “musical and mindful” message through an elementary school program. She has released a children’s CD, “The School of Life,” to teach and promote tolerance, diversity, kindness and bullying prevention.

Cyndi Casemier, owner of C2C Gallery in downtown Grand Haven, said Picking’s performance not only spreads a positive message, but it also helps students see that music is an art form.

Ferry Elementary School fourth-grader Chyanne Keeler said she thought it was a fun field trip and she liked the concert.

Wednesday marked the third year for Grand Haven fourth-graders to take their learning on the road to visit ArtWalk.

The students have also gotten creative on the field trip. Two years ago, they created art tessellations. Last year, they made videos about what they saw at the Detroit Institute of Art traveling exhibit when it was in Grand Haven.

Casemier said she brought the idea to the school district a few years ago because she felt the field trip would provide a way to connect what the kids are learning in the classroom to how it relates in the real world. It also brings the students — and their parents — out to ArtWalk, she said.

“It just reconnects us all,” Casemier said.

Griffin Elementary School fourth-graders Mikayla Boehnke and Rachel Elkins said they enjoyed seeing the ArtWalk pieces.

“I love art,” Boehnke said.

Elkins said she liked having the opportunity to visit ArtWalk because she and her classmates might not otherwise see it.

After seeing different pieces of art and styles, Boehnke and Elkins said they felt inspired to create their own. Boehnke said she likes drawing self-portraits as well as animals.

“I saw new things I think I could try,” Boehnke said.

Grand Haven ArtWalk continues through Oct. 9.

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